Aragorn had a vision from the Palantir. He saw a fleet of Corsairs about to reach the coast of Gondor. The only possibility to get there before the White City falls is the most direct route through the mountains to Pelargir: The Paths of the Dead.
A name of dread among those who dwell near to its entrance, The Paths of the Dead were said to be haunted by the ghosts of men from the second age of Middle-earth; Oathbreakers who refused to join war against Mordor. Cursed for their unfaithfulness and doomed linger in the shadowy hills until their oath was fulfilled.
Sméagol has led Frodo and Sam to the Morgul Vale, where he promises to show them a secret way over the Mountains of Shadow and into the land of Mordor, also he promises not to hurt Frodo. Not he, himself…
Having made it across the dead marshes, the Hobbits reached the black gate of Mordor. The entrance is heavily guarded, so there is way entering. The Hobbits would surely have been discovered if they approach the gate. So they try to go a different way in: south to the morgul vale. Their road leads them into the land of Ithilien, a wooded country of tree-covered hills and fast-running streams. The wholesome air of the land about them put the Hobbits at ease, and they were caught off guard when they were suddenly joined by a company of rangers who patrolled those woods. The rangers were on a mission to ambush the men of Harad who were marching up the road to Mordor to swell the hosts of Sauron. Before they knew it, the Hobbits were caught in the middle of a battle of men.
This quest puts the heroes in the midst of a heavy battle against Harad forces coming from the cross-roads on the way to the black gate. If to many of them slip through (remain in the staging area and are placed unter The Black Gate then), the player(s) lose the game. Due to its game mechanic, a (single) player has to handle de facto two revealed cards per round, which one of them is a guaranteed enemy.
This quest is the first quest of the 4th saga box and I play it for the first time. With heading into this quest I passed the first half of the Lord of the Rings saga campaign.
Frodo and Sam left the Fellowship above the falls of Rauros and crossed the great river to climb the Emyn Muil upon the Eastern shore. After days of wandering through that maze of rocky crags, they have finally reached the edge of the Dead Marshes only to discover that Gollum is following them. They have to deal with Gollum, the shifting and sinking of the marshes, and with undeads coming from the marshes.
Saruman’s army has been defeated at Helm’s Deep, but the Wizard’s fortress is beyond Rohan’s power to capture. However, the Ents of Fangorn have also suffered great injury because of Saruman and his Orcs. They have the strength to break Isengard, but have to be roused to attack.
The pursuit of the Uruk-hai has brought the Heir of Elendil to Rohan just as Saruman declares war on that land. Aragorn and his companions travel to Edoras to aid King Théoden and the Rohan army to defend at Helm’s Deep. Hopefully they will be able to counter-attack the orcs to finally defeat the attacking army.
The 8th part is all about the defending battle. It has an unique game mechanic. This time the progress to the quest stages does not come from the willpower of the players. Progress is placed by the encounter deck onto stages one to four. If the game finishes the 4th quest card, the players have lost the game. The players have to survive — or in better words: withstand — 8 rounds to reach stage 5.
The Orcs that attached the Fellowship at Amon Hen captured several members of the Company and are carrying them to Isengard. Aragorn and his companions decide to chase the Uruk-hai in an effort to rescue their friends. This has to be done before they escape into the forest of Fangorn. If the Orcs reach its borders, they will escape into the woods, taking their captives with them and there will be no chance to track them there.
Having barely escaped from Moria, the Company of the Ring flees into the forest of Lórien where they are welcomed by the Elves of the Golden Wood and supplied with boats and other gifts by their Lord and Lady, Celeborn and Galadriel. Then they set out upon the River Anduin. But soon they are swarmed by enemies and are forced to go ashore. Seduced by the Ring and divided what to do next, the party splits up.
Trapped inside the Mines of Moria, the Company of the Ring must find their way tto reach the eastern door. But with every step they take into the Mines, there is a growing sense of dread, named the Balrog.
In the House of Elrond, the evil wound that Frodo received on Weathertop gets healed. The council decides that the One Ring cannot remain hidden in Rivendell and sends out a party to destroy the ring. This chapter depicts the first part of the journey — up to the entrace to the Mines of Moria through the hidden gate.